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### Topic: BASIC ARDUINO HARDWARE HELP (Read 5581 times)previous topic - next topic

#### mrburnette

#15
##### Dec 11, 2014, 05:27 amLast Edit: Dec 11, 2014, 05:29 am by mrburnette
Ok, a I've been using is misguided or going way off track.
<...>
I just can't believe a board is designed with 56+ pins but only 3 to 5 are usable at a time because of power limitations, or documented as how to increase that limitation. Furthermore don't understand why this limitation is in place if each section is powered by its own power source for the loadshttps://www.dropbox.com/s/at49i33uhkjnv4z/GantryProject.png?dl=0.
I'm retired and play with Arduinos and such.  I was in electronics and communications in the Air Force and majored in EE afterward in college.  I worked 3 years for a once major computer manufacturer and I spent a year managing a college research lab.  35 years later bring us to today.  Somewhere during that time, I spent 3 years in adult education.

I mention the above because even with my background, I sometime am frustrated with Arduino.  There is often sketchy information and sometimes incorrect info.  Books go so far but require a page-turn by page-turn approach and precise components to follow the text.

But, self-teaching requires a directed approach.  Your frustration is because you cannot swim and you jumped into the deep end of the pool.  I am not suggesting the kiddy pool, but for goodness sake, do not venture from the waist-level area until you can swim with confidence.

You absolutely need to stop, take a deep breath, and take a few weeks to learn basic electronics.  This is the E=IR stuff.  This means using a LED and current limiting resistor and power source with no microcontroller!  Did you know that you need to take the source voltage and subtract the voltage-drop of the LED before calculating the value of the series resistor?  You must know this as it is fundamental.

You probably are not happy with this reply, but if you want to learn a skill, you must invest in the time to learn the fundamentals.  You may have a program in basic electronics available as evening course locally.  Many of us old timers built Heath Kits when young... Or Knight Kits... Or Eico.  I blew up bunches of transistors secured by scrapping 6-transistor radios.

This hobby is no different than auto mechanics... That is, your first project should not be rebuilding a new, complex automatic transmission.  Find as local Arduino group.  Take a class.  In 6 to 8 weeks you will be competent to start working with LEDs and the Arduino.

Ray

#### raschemmel

#16
##### Dec 11, 2014, 05:33 am
Quote
You absolutely need to stop, take a deep breath, and take a few weeks to learn basic electronics.
AMEN !
Arduino UNOs, Pro-Minis, ATMega328, ATtiny85, LCDs, MCP4162, keypads,<br />DS18B20s,74c922,nRF24L01, RS232, SD card, RC fixed wing, quadcopter

#### JimboZA

#17
##### Dec 11, 2014, 05:47 am
Quote
I just can't believe a board is designed with 56+ pins but only 3 to 5 are usable at a time
Even if that were true, which it's not, think of all the mains power outlets in your home. You may well have stuff plugged in to 75% of them all the time, but they're unlikely to be delivering 16A (that's the rating here)  all the time. (Indeed some may never be called on to do that, that's 3.5kW which is big for a domestic plug-in appliance.) Most of those devices which are left plugged in, get very little use. How many times do we use the toaster in the kitchen?.... maybe 10 times a week, yet it's always plugged in. My daughter uses her hair dryer comb brush thingy once a day. Bedside lamps are always plugged in, but turned on for maybe an hour or two a day. Other things run all the time, like the fridge. The washing machine's always plugged in, yet used every second day.

My point is that we keep those things plugged in all the time for convenience, not because they are all always used at full power, all the time.

It's inconceivable that in an industrial setting you would crawl around plugging and unplugging sensors each time you needed to read something. You might have dozens of temperature sensors in a plant, say, but you don't read them at the same time. (You can't anyway, strictly speaking, not with one Arduino).  Yet all of those sensors will be connected, waiting their turn. As a result of those reads, a few other pins may be called into action, so speed up or slow fans, to sound alarms, to turn things off and on.

Many things connected, but not all in use at once.
Johannesburg hams call me: ZS6JMB on Highveld rep 145.7875 (-600 & 88.5 tone)

#### raschemmel

#18
##### Dec 11, 2014, 06:04 am
We still haven't talked about Analog Multiplexers or Digital Port Expanders.
There are ways to get more inputs, especially since, as Jimbo pointed out, you only use a few of them at a time. You can multiplex analog sensors and use a port expander for more digital inputs/outputs.
Arduino UNOs, Pro-Minis, ATMega328, ATtiny85, LCDs, MCP4162, keypads,<br />DS18B20s,74c922,nRF24L01, RS232, SD card, RC fixed wing, quadcopter

#### Pepsikid51

#19
##### Dec 11, 2014, 06:40 amLast Edit: Dec 11, 2014, 06:57 am by Pepsikid51
This is a BASIC example of an interface wiring without need for reference to a Electronics manual. Agreed it is specific to a certain piece of electronic hardware, not having the capabilities of the Arduino, other than its ability to be used as an interface. It is generic in nature, but provides a clear picture of what goes where, strength and quantity is left to the user discretion / choice. It is not intended to construct his circuit but as a guide in doing so.

The hang-up on my ability to or wanting to learn, should not be the focus. I stated in the very beginning what my focus was, find a way given my limited knowledge to connect a lot of LED's (not control them) using external power via the Arduino and hardware family, then create a way to pass it along for others.

To clarify the remarks about NON-ELECTRONIC terms, is not to say electronic terms cannot be used (a resistor is a resistor) however a "Schematic" is primarily shorthand for electronics and requires more than a basic understanding in electronics to grasp than a drawing, but that wouldn't suit your definition or support your line of thinking I'm lazy and stupid.

Very true and wise your statement about "shoes", you can't do it because you already know the answer and its harder to phrase it in other terms than what your proficient in. As for what I'm not telling you... You've already hinted I'm lazy, and not willing to read, so what else do you think I'm not saying? I supplied a picture and again on that, I know it and text is vague but I'm not looking for you to design a solution. Drop some hints or warnings on max values, but it is a moot point on needing exact specs. given the overview of using the Arduino as the interface (communication in/out) with the computer, and its pins status being used to open/close an attached circuit. If each circuit is independent of the other in respect to power (Voltage & Ampere) isn't the Arduino only responsible to change it's pin status? If all 56 pins can have their status changed at the same time where's the disconnect. Arduino is used for its ability to communicate with the computer (In and Out), and it's pins status signals the attached circuit to open or close NOT power it. BASIC - the Arduino is not being used to its full potential, only 1 capability of it is being used - communicate with a computer its attached too. Such a waste to use a microcontroller as a simple switching mech.              https://www.dropbox.com/s/t0w3s48lyva5r12/Phi-INDraw.jpg?dl=0https://www.dropbox.com/s/e04fkftff0w68hj/Phi-OUTDraw.jpg?dl=0
Also I guess for background information using the same level of knowledge in electronics everything I have been talking about doing I have done! When I did it I used a Phidget Interface and the parallel port. No brag just fact I currently run over 100 separate LEDs, 4 IR sensors, and several other types of enhancements. I don't want to change to Arduino, the Software program I use is sorta requiring it... and I still don't know the difference between a Ziener Diode and a regular diode.

#### JimboZA

#20
##### Dec 11, 2014, 07:00 am
Quote
Such a waste to use a microcontroller as a simple switching mech.
Indeed, a few 74xx chips for example can take care of a lot of logic, as in if switch A is open and (switch B is closed or switch C is open), with ease.

But often the logic isn't discrete like that, and there's an analog component say. Or, the output requires some calculation. Still not hugely complex, and easy enough to code unless the calculation itself is hugely complex like PID or Fuzzy.

So in a sense, a micro is never anything other than a switching mechanism: it's power comes from the calcs it can do to assess its environment and then decide what to switch, and when; then it's not a simple one.
Johannesburg hams call me: ZS6JMB on Highveld rep 145.7875 (-600 & 88.5 tone)

#### Pepsikid51

#21
##### Dec 11, 2014, 08:22 am
PLEASE, read the post again. I did not choose to use the Arduino as the interface, it is a suggested interface for convenience of the Software program I'm using it with. I'm not a software programmer, I didn't write the code, I can't alter the code, I use the code. That code uses the Arduino as the communication device, not on the comm port but through the USB, to pass signals into (input) or out of (output) the computer. Analog and Digital, 1 and 0, High and Low.

I don't need to step back, chill out or any such thing I need to learn, figure out, or something else on how to use 1 and only 1 function or capability of the Arduino... NOT how to connect it to the computer (that's through the USB port) but how to connect circuits that require more than the +5v supplied by the USB (regardless of the amps) with it. The +5 only needs to power the pins state on the board, not their loads. AGAIN - I don't need to know how to "sketch", I don't need to construct circuits that control flashing, when or where just use the pin state being sent or received from the computer software as a signal. However, power demands are different for each circuit, requiring several power sources and leaving the USB powered Arduino as a simple switch (be it 8 Analog signals or 56 Digital or anything in between).

How do I connect whatever (you fill in the blanks) to an Arduino Mega 256 to control 3 separate independent circuits all powered by there own power source. Max values 18vdc (really 12) @ 750ma. If I find I need more (current) I'll break it into 2 circuits @ 750ma, it is still going to require the same amount of pin signals, and none of it to power the Arduino.

#### mrburnette

#22
##### Dec 11, 2014, 02:29 pmLast Edit: Dec 11, 2014, 02:37 pm by mrburnette
Quote
How do I connect whatever (you fill in the blanks) to an Arduino Mega 256 to control 3 separate independent circuits all powered by there own power source. Max values 18vdc (really 12) @ 750ma. If I find I need more (current) I'll break it into 2 circuits @ 750ma, it is still going to require the same amount of pin signals, and none of it to power the Arduino.
Several ways to do it

I reread the entire thread; just to make sure none of us called you "stupid"; i did not see that word other than your use of it.  You are not stupid, just a bit hard-headed.  Your knowledge at this point is like Swiss cheese... full of holes.  I would not even know where to start to help you other than what I did above, just give you a link.

There are other ways, but that would involve more complexity.  Perhaps in time, after you have worked through this project, you will have time to explore more and fill in some of those holes.

Best wishes.  But please - never use the term BASIC here again without understanding that the term, when capitalized, references the programming language BASIC.  Google it, please.

Ray

#### Pepsikid51

#23
##### Dec 11, 2014, 04:41 pmLast Edit: Dec 11, 2014, 04:48 pm by Pepsikid51
Forgive me. for I have Sinned! But learned a lot in doing so. I'm not proficient in posting on forums (another flaw), did read the "how to post" post but failed in grasping the layout of the land. For instance I now know "Several ways to do it" 'cause its in Blue (Aqua) means its a link. I also went back and noticed several other things visible but unaware had meaning. Items below a solid line. I don't know how its done but the "quoting" thing I see could be useful. Anyway back to basics fundamentals WOW, no need to Capitalize for emphasis - we got smileys and tools.

Speaking of tools, did you know you can say something like "Stupid" using a single word or express it never using the word itself but others to convey the thought... and some are very good at it like Politician's and Lawyers.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/poqfpvjuix3cqak/basic.png?dl=0

A link to advertisements was not helpful, I think I stated I own several pieces in the family (shield, 8 relay Module...) and used their descriptions to make purchases. Problem is/was documentation not advertisements on them.

#### mrburnette

#24
##### Dec 11, 2014, 09:00 pmLast Edit: Dec 11, 2014, 09:31 pm by mrburnette
Quote
Speaking of tools, did you know you can say something like "Stupid" using a single word or express it never using the word itself but others to convey the thought... and some are very good at it like Politician's and Lawyers.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/poqfpvjuix3cqak/basic.png?dl=0
Yep.  I do know that.

Quote
A link to advertisements was not helpful, I think I stated I own several pieces in the family (shield, 8 relay Module...) and used their descriptions to make purchases. Problem is/was documentation not advertisements on them.
Well, you were not supposed to just look at the pictures!  Many sites such as Adafruit and Sparkfun have rather detailed pages on how to hook up said picture and how to program same.  I've heard it said that the Internet is the greatest learning tool man has created; but, science still has not created an RJ45 brain connector... One must read and sometimes search and read again.  It's called learning.

Below is a screen shot of what I saw when I did my inquiry to "arduino relay board".  We did similar searches yet arrived at completely different insights from the results.  What I saw was pictures that represented icons to pertinent information.  What you saw was advertisements.  Google loves you.

BASIC is a computer language; therefore I knew to Google "BASIC language".

Somewhere in all of this typing, I wanted to use the phrase, "So easy a caveman could do it..." but I just did not manage to get that into the dialog!  Oh, wait, I did.  Fact is, it is not easy and it is not intuitive.  Electronics as related to a microcontroller (or microprocessor for that matter) is a compilation of physics, electrical engineering, and programming.  It is a very broad subject and it simply takes time to be good at the game.

Kids seem to pick this stuff up rather quickly as their brains are like sponges; maybe they do not understand many of the underlying principles but they surely do become good at using the technology.  For the rest of us that have saturated sponges, we need to squeeze 'em a bit so that we have some room for the new stuff!  In my opinion, the very best and quickest way to learn is from another person and when that is not workable, then the second best way is to follow instructions and build a project designed, packaged, and sold by another.  However, these learning methodologies break-down when we just want to plug a knowledge hole; I believe that is where you are at the moment.  You know what you believe is reasonable and do-able, but you want to quickly advance to fill in the gap in your understanding.  I again suggest a local club and try to buddy-up with someone that is not a smartass know-it-all like myself.

Ray

#### raschemmel

#25
##### Dec 12, 2014, 05:12 am
I am patient , and I really did try, but from what you have said, I think you should stick to appliances, because no matter what ad you look at , no matter what it says, YOU see an appliance that you want to
just plug in and turn on. Back in the day, you would have been able to get by with HEATHKITS.
When I worked at the Heathkit store a bank VP came in one day and said he wanted to build a security
alarm for his house, just to do it. He said he afford to just pick up the phone and call a Security Alarm
company to come out and wire his whole house but he wanted to build it himself but had never even seen a circuit board up close before. I told him "if you listen to what I tell you and you treat it like the word of GOD
and do exactly what I tell you , I can almost guarantee you will be able to do what you want". He "ok, your on. Go." I said "I want you to buy that \$20 soldering course on the shelf , and take it home and PRETEND
that it is your SECURITY ALARM. Read every word of the instructions and do exactly what it says. At the end, if it works , come back and buy the home security alarm kit. He said "Thank you". Picked up the
soldering kit, walked to the counter , paid for it and left. (he was wearing a suit by the way). Two weeks
later he came back and said the soldering kit circuit (Actually just a push button, flip-flop and led circuit)
worked the first time and he was ready to buy the alarm. I sold him the alarm and two weeks later he
came back with a big smile and said his alarm worked the first time !
My point ? Patience is a virtue. You are intelligent  You are capable reader. You have more than enough
ability to learn how to read and draw schematics. You have all the abilities you need to be successful
in electronics , except one: patience. (and diligence)
Arduino UNOs, Pro-Minis, ATMega328, ATtiny85, LCDs, MCP4162, keypads,<br />DS18B20s,74c922,nRF24L01, RS232, SD card, RC fixed wing, quadcopter

#### Pepsikid51

#26
##### Dec 16, 2014, 06:47 am
Great story... In a Suit! Wow, I didn't know the clothes you wear was a controlling influence on ability to be able to preform manual tasks. You take the story and are impressed because a SUIT did something you thought only you could do. Lets face it he did not design, the installation - he purchased it as a kit and followed the instructions included for success. My point is he followed instructions that told and showed him what to do to accomplish his task. I'd like to do the same, problem is there are no instructions to follow. No one that has posted to this thread has supplied anything that can be interpreted as instructions or specifications on the hardware to follow. Exception: CrossRoads pointing to his book - which I received today and does cover certain aspects... but to early to know if they'll benefit my project.

As for a BASIC (emphasis) beginners section on the forum, I guess General Electronics is not the section for questions specific to Arduino Hardware, responders just don't consider it a "general electronics" item.

#### raschemmel

#27
##### Dec 16, 2014, 06:54 amLast Edit: Dec 16, 2014, 07:10 am by raschemmel
Ok, it wasn't the suit. It was his occupation (bank VP) that impressed me. (I guess that still makes me guilty of stereotyping ?" .
There are some kits out there, but nothing comes close to the legendary Heathkits. Those were the days !

kits

Maker Shed

Sparkfun kits

What would you say if I told you that I started learning electronics with Radioshack Children's Learning kits.
I would wear a blue professional smock when ever I shopped for electronic parts because people treated me as if I were some kind of professional in the field. (I was a restaurant cook cross-training myself at home but before I started wearing the smock the store clerks wouldn't give me the time of day.) One day I was buying the 150 in 1 kit at Radioshack and the clerk remembered me from the previous kits I had bought and commented "I guess the kids love the kits huh ?" to which I smiled and replied "Yes  they do..."
Arduino UNOs, Pro-Minis, ATMega328, ATtiny85, LCDs, MCP4162, keypads,<br />DS18B20s,74c922,nRF24L01, RS232, SD card, RC fixed wing, quadcopter

#### JimboZA

#28
##### Dec 16, 2014, 07:32 am
followed instructions that told and showed him what to do to accomplish his task. I'd like to do the same, problem is there are no instructions to follow.
That's probably actually true, if only because the task you want to do is not identical to that of anyone else. It's not a kit where everyone solders the thing identically.

In the absence of a formal course consisting of synchronised modules it's a matter of each individual somehow "cobbling together" the parts one needs from (inter alia) electronics, digital logic, algorithms, programming, the details of the microcontroller in your hand, maybe even some mains electricity, mechanics (torque, gearing etc), communications methods (simple tx/rx serial, i2c.... whatever) and on and on and on.

If you did that cobbling together and wrote it all down in a book, it would still only be of (say) 50% use to the next guy because we all have different needs.

An undergrad degree in mechatronics is probably the closest you'll get to getting all of that under one roof so to speak. And even then, it's not a kit approach: it's a problem solving one, given that engineering is all about that.

To me, half the fun of this whole Arduino thing has been the messing around trying to figure things out. I don't have a destination in mind. If I did have a real need, I'd pay someone for a turnkey solution.
Johannesburg hams call me: ZS6JMB on Highveld rep 145.7875 (-600 & 88.5 tone)